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If you make comments about someone that are true, can you be sued for defamation of character?

Riverside, CA |

My ex is starting his own business, and he has recently done some shady dealings to get it started. If I tell the people he is involved with the truth about him, is that defamation of character?

Attorney Answers 4


Truth is an absolue defense to defamation. It will not, however, prevent you from being sued. You are better off staying out of it unless the people who are involved are your relatives or close friends. Even then, watch what you say and how you say it.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

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Truth is a defense to any claim of libel or slander. However, you could be sued by practically anyone for practically anything, the real question is whether or not the suit could be successful. As long as what you say or write is truthful, you should have a good defense to any defamation claim against you.

Legal Disclaimer:

Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to insure proper advice is received.

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Truth is a defense to a civil defamation case. Your post does not say whether your information about the shady dealings you want to communicate about your ex-husband was true or untrue.

Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.

Good luck to you.

God bless.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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Here is some free advice. Let go. It's not your problem. Did you want to split from him or tie yourself to him for years and years in litigation? And no, the "real question" is not whether he could win a lawsuit against you. It's whether you want the expense of defending one.

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